Conversations with a Therapist #9 – A Life Tainted With Fantasy

The final subject I wrote on to speak with my therapist was “Books/Movies molding with reality,” and I felt a huge urge to not say a thing on it. This is because I feel I’ve pretty much talked about it, and I’ve since decided to stop being redundant. We could have ended this series with the last post, and I would have to find other fodder to speak about.  Instead, I’ve decided against it and thought I would come in from another possible angle.

In regards to what was on my mind at that time, I think it dealt with the attempts of media taking advertising methods (or full out games) which tried to blur the line between fiction and reality. Most of these attempts were simple money making schemes, though when I was that age, I probably didn’t know better. And I believe that’s pretty much it. Moving on.I’ve already laid my case on my problem with fiction and fantasy at large, though I suppose it would be deceitful to say I don’t appreciate the escapism and mystery of it all. My worry is the otherwise solitary nature it can create (or has created), because it’s just entertainment in your head, not something that’s actually having you interact with the world or gives you something you can actually use. You can easily become absorbed into it all, and turn into just another basement dweller (or wherever it is you dwell).

Yeah, I share a lot of feelings with that guy who made The Only Thing I Know, which was all the buzz back in 2o10. But as he also pointed out, I have to give props to those who have taken the initiative to make otherwise solitary experiences into social ones. The biggest form of this is in conventions, of which I never took part of till ACen in 2010. It was a very rewarding and teaching experience, despite the fact it cost me a week’s worth of pay. Well, pay that wouldn’t have amounted to much now that I look back on it. So in that regard, a very profitable venture it was. Don’t know what this next year will bring, but I’m certainly excited about the prospects.

What intrigues me the most are games which don’t take you away from others, but actually encourage and IRL participation. LARP is one example, but you’re still pretending to be part of a fantasy world, where in alternate reality games (ARG for short) put the setting in our world, yet living out yourself within the game parameters (and government laws for that matter). It’s the degree of collaboration that’s required which really gets me, and having everyone to give up responsibility for the day and partake of something mysterious in the otherwise monotonous world. Haven’t had a go at it yet, nor do I think I could have the time, but it’s something I’d be willing to give a go at some point.

And of course there’s Dungeons & Dragons, which I’ve been playing and am quite addicted to since 2008. While many of this current generation find it to be a board game version of MMORPGs, plenty keep the roots where it works more as an exploration and communicating game. It’s all too easy to make it a linear experience as many of the RPG video games I’ve grown with, but once you realize how dangerously free you are to dictate your direction and you actually have the capacity to make it work…that’s something special. To me at least.

Thus far, I’ve only played with family, friends, and random people I will likely never see again from those afternoon adventures. The idea of interacting with others and seeing how they play and what can be created fascinates me. And considering the fact this excitement I feel is from just one’s focus in a limited game, the excitement I feel for what another can do period is a whole other level. Can be a little overwhelming at times, knowing a neighbor you’ve never spoken with has the capacity to shift mountains.

At its core, fiction is an escape from the reality with dwell in, where we (usually) see nothing but blandness, and what we would have from it is otherwise…well, a dream. And while it’s grand to dream, it’s important to share those dreams, something which I’ve been lacking of for a long while. So in the end, it’s always about Balance. Our reality is capable of being changed and enriched by our dreams, and as long as those dreams have some reality in them, some amazing things can come about. Still trying to learn that thing called Balance, which has ever alluded me.

Probably why I should consider seeing a therapist rather than dwell on conversations I held with my last one, but I really doubt I’ll find what I’m looking for in another. That and I’d like to hold onto what cash I can, while I can. My issues will be my own for the now.

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